Epic Games has been sued by a number of people, including Backpack Kid, rapper 2 Milly, and Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, over claims that the studio stole their dance moves to use in Fortnite. Now, Epic Games has released a memorandum in which it seeks to have at least one of the lawsuits dismissed on the grounds that “no one can own a dance step.”
A document filed in California court this week seeks to have rapper Terrence “2 Milly” Ferguson’s lawsuit tossed out. It states that Ferguson’s claims are “fundamentally at odds with free speech principles.” The letter states, “Copyright law is clear that individual dance steps and simple dance routines are not protected by copyright.” Epic asserts that such dance moves are actually “building blocks of free expression,” and Epic says they are in the public domain.
Epic also said in its note that the “Swipe It” dance emote, which is the one in question, varies from the move that 2 Milly made popular. One example is that 2 Milly’s dance move, which is referred to as “the Dance Step” in the letter, features the torso, shoulders, and head face forward while the ribs move side to side. For the Swipe It emote, the torso, shoulders, and head turn to the side while the ribs remain in place. Additionally, 2 Milly’s actual dance move is faster than Swipe It. Put shortly, “the works simply are not substantially similar,” Epic said.
It’s not immediately clear if Epic has filed similar measures in response to the lawsuits from Backpack Kid and Alfonso Ribeiro, but keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest.
The lawsuits seemingly had holes from the beginning. In the case of Alfonso Ribeiro’s lawsuit, it was discovered that Ribeiro himself admitted to borrowing the dance from someone else.
In other Fortnite news, the game’s new 7.40 update has been delayed; it’s now coming on Valentine’s Day.
Fortnite recently picked up a new competitor, as the battle royale game Apex Legends from Respawn and Electronic Arts is off to a wildly fast start. As of this writing, Apex Legends has more viewers than Fortnite and all other games by a large margin today on Twitch.